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Facebook Ads

Facebook Pixel Setup Guide

Creating and installing your first Facebook Pixel

Out of the box, Facebook Ads give you access to some truly amazing tools that help you accomplish three crucial things for your business:

  1. Reach Facebook’s 2 billion monthly active users
  2. Target super specific groups of these users by their interests, demographics, and behavior on Facebook
  3. Measure how people engage with your posts, pictures, videos, ads, and Facebook Pages

What’s missing when you first create a Facebook ad account is the ability to measure how your ads are impacting the most important metrics to your business like:

  1. Website traffic
  2. Number of sales
  3. The cart value of those sales
  4. Leads
  5. App downloads
  6. Content downloads
  7. Email sign ups
  8. [Insert your important business metric here]

That’s where Facebook’s most powerful tool for marketers comes in: The Facebook Pixel. Whether you’re looking to create your first Facebook Pixel or trying to figure out how to add it to your website, this post is for you. Specifically, we’ll cover the following list of topics in-depth and include links to other important resources along the way to help you troubleshoot set up and leverage advanced tactics like Custom Conversions, Tracking the value of conversions, Custom Audiences and Remarketing.

  1. What is a conversion?
  2. What is conversion tracking?
  3. How does conversion tracking work?
  4. What is the Facebook Pixel?
  5. How do I create a Facebook Pixel?
  6. How do I install the base Pixel code on my website?
  7. What does the Facebook Pixel let me do?

No matter how your site is built – HTML, Shopify, WordPress, and more – we have detailed walkthroughs that will help you get up and running with the Facebook Pixel.

What is a conversion?

A conversion occurs when someone completes a certain action that you decide is important to your business. A conversion is the most important Facebook data point because its definition and value is set by you rather than some preset applied to businesses of every shape and size.

When you start a new campaign, Facebook offers 10 different objectives that help you accomplish unique business goals like: getting the word out about your brand, generating more traffic, selling more products, and generating qualified business leads.

set a facebook campaign objective

Each of these questions or “objectives” belong to one of three buckets within Facebook Ads:

  1. Facebook Awareness: Objectives that generate interest in your product or service. This is the widest portion of the funnel and hardest to measure.
  2. Facebook Consideration: Objectives that get people to start thinking about your business and look for more information. Your goal is to get your audience to engage with your ad on Facebook and Instagram. Whether it’s a video view, a post share, or click to your website, consideration objectives are highly measurable and insightful.
  3. Facebook Conversion: Objectives that encourage people interested in your business to purchase or use your product or service. This has the clearest impact on your business’s bottom line. It is the most important campaign to run but the hardest to set up and track correctly.

Everything except the 3rd column, Conversion-focused objectives, can be measured without leaving Facebook. The moment you want to run a campaign with a goal that occurs outside of Facebook, like on your website or inside your mobile app, Facebook can no longer track what happens unless you have Facebook’s tracking pixel installed.

A Facebook conversion occurs when someone completes a business objective on your website or mobile application after they see or click your ad on Facebook or Instagram

What is conversion tracking?

Ultimately, conversion tracking separates the struggling marketer from the informed one by helping you determine the success of your campaign.

bullseye

Conversion tracking is an essential advertising tool that tells you whether completed your desired action or not after they saw or clicked your ad. With this information, you can calculate the return on investment for your advertising budget and optimize your campaigns for YOUR business.

For example, Facebook might be telling you that a million people clicked on your ad, but if 0 people completed a purchase, how successful was that campaign? That’s why you need conversion tracking on your site.

How does conversion tracking work?

Conversion tracking is achieved by copying & pasting the Facebook tracking pixel code to your website on the page where the desired conversion will occur. The Facebook pixel is a piece of code that lets Facebook follow your paid audience’s activity on your website.

With the proper set-up, Facebook will provide you all of the conversion information from your website within the Business Manager dashboard.

Be Warned: to install the pixel you’re going to need some patience and you’re going to interact with some code, but have no fear, we’ll walk you through this step-by-step below.

A little motivation…

You could spend all day reading Facebook Ads blogs about which campaign type will work best for your business, what your Facebook ads budget should be, and which targeting group will yield the best returns on your ad spend, but none of that matters if you can’t gather insights about your return on investment.

You need conversion tracking to understand what happens after a person clicks on your ad to truly understand what your investment on Facebook Ads is getting your business in return.

The Facebook pixel tells you which audiences are more likely to buy. It lets you know which audiences are more likely to buy multiple items. It helps you leverage existing business data to scale rapidly. It’s ad optimization. It’s showing people exactly what they’re looking for. The Facebook Pixel is all these things. Let’s dig in.

 

How to set up Facebook conversion tracking on any type of website

Step 1: Create your Facebook Pixel

From the Ads Manager or Business Manager:

  1. Click the hamburger menu in the upper left hand corner.
  2. Select “All Tools >
  3. Find and click PIXELS beneath ASSETS
  4. Click the green “Create a Pixel”
  5. Name your pixel
  6. Click the “Create Pixel” after approving the terms and conditions

how to create a facebook pixel

The code Facebook will provide you here is called the “base code” and should be applied to every page on your website. It should look something like this:

Facebook-Pixel-Code

Tip: Name your Facebook Pixel after your company name. There is only one “base code” for the pixel, so keep it general. You can get more specific with custom conversion names.

Step 2: Embed the Code

Go into your HTML editor and paste your base pixel code in the head of every webpage you want to track, like so:

facebook pixel implementation gif
Source: Facebook

If you’re like most marketers, you might not have access to your HTML editor. Don’t hesitate to send this project to your developer, it should only take them about 5 minutes.

Step 3: Include Standard Events

Every page of your site serves a different purpose, so it’s important to tell the pixel which specific behaviors you want to track on each page. For example, every time the ‘Thank You’ page appears after a purchase, the pixel should track that a purchase was completed.

Facebook provides a set of common conversions, or “standard events”, that most eCommerce business like to track. In the example above, the standard event is called “make purchase.”

To track a confirmed purchase, you need to add the “make purchase” standard event code into the base code you’ve placed on your ‘Thank You’ page in Step 2.

components of the facebook pixel code

There are several custom events you can track. Here are the custom codes for each one:

Custom Pixel Event Standard Event Code
Search fbq(‘track’, ‘Search’);
View Content fbq(‘track’,
‘ViewContent’);
Complete Registration fbq(‘track’,
‘CompleteRegistration’);
Lead fbq(‘track’, ‘Lead’);
Add to Wishlist fbq(‘track’, ‘AddToWishlist’);
Add to Cart fbq(‘track’, ‘AddToCart’);
Initiate Checkout fbq(‘track’, ‘InitiateCheckout’);
Add Payment Info fbq(‘track’, ‘AddPaymentInfo’);
Make Purchase fbq(‘track’, ‘Purchase’, {value: ‘0.00’, currency: ‘USD’});

Step 4: Include Custom Conversions

Custom conversions are similar to standard events, but they allow you to segment conversions based on different criteria.

For example, a custom conversion could track how many purchases were made on your site over $50, or how many people added an item to their cart specifically from your “Fall Collection”.

What makes these even better is that unlike standard events, you can create custom conversions directly on your Pixel Manager without touching the code.

There are two caveats to custom conversions, though:

  1. You can only create 40 custom conversions per account.
  2. You cannot edit your custom conversions, so you’ll have to delete them and create new ones.

Here’s how you can set up custom conversions after you’ve installed your Facebook Pixel base code:

From the Ads Manager or Business Manager:

Custom-conversions

  1. Click Tools and select Custom Conversions in the drop down menu
  2. Click Create Custom Conversion
  3. Under custom rule, you can select which page you want the custom conversion to be:
    1. URL Contains: Add the slug of the url and exclude the “domainname.com.” ie: facebook-pixel-setup-thank-you
    2. URL Equals: Enter the full URL, excluding the https://
  4. Click next
  5. Enter a name and description for your custom conversion
  6. Enter a conversion value if you want to see your total conversion revenue in your reports
  7. Click create and done!

The Facebook Pixel is much more than conversion tracking…

Setting up the Facebook Pixel for conversion tracking is a core component of any healthy advertising account. But conversion tracking merely scratches the surface of what the Facebook Pixel lets you achieve.

Each of the tools the Facebook Pixel provides you will get its own blog post down the line. In the meantime, here’s a sneak peek into the treasure chest that is the Facebook pixel

Similar Audiences: can leverage existing business data to find new customers who are similar to people who have already paid you money.

Remarketing: You can send coupons to your website visitors who shopped but never bought. You can show your products or services to men and women with certain jobs titles, income levels, interests in water polo, The Beatles, whatever. No matter what industry you’re in, you can find that perfect target audience and maximize your return on investment.

Custom Conversions: 1 code to rule them all. Once the Facebook Pixel is installed, you can define what a conversion is without editing the code on your website or adding special snippets to success pages.

Dynamic Products Advertisements: allows retargeting users who have visited specific products or categories from your website.


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Have any questions?

Feel free to drop us a comment or tweet at us @AdHawk. We’d be more than happy to answer any questions you may have!

 

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About the Author

Marketing and Growth Director at AdHawk. Helping business find confidence and success online, one hefty article at a time.